Friday, December 28, 2012

The Great Kitchen Remodel of 2013

This morning Maggie came to me and asked tearfully why daddy was making us move again. Why might she ask that, you wonder?  Because our dining room is filled top to bottom with boxes. Now, I know that these boxes contain our new kitchen cabinetry, but Maggie is only 3, and she wasn't home while the boxes were being delivered, hence her confusion.

After calming her and showing her what was inside the boxes, she asked why we were getting our kitchen all 'changed up.' So for her, and for those of you out there wondering, let me explain...

We bought an old house. And it has an old kitchen. A really old kitchen. The wall and ceiling tiles are original 1930s Carrera glass, and are the only thing we're hoping to keep. The cabinets, counters and appliance (minus the fridge) are from the 60s, most likely. They were working pretty well when we moved in, but the previous owners barely ever used them. Now, after three months of daily use they are starting to show their age. 

Here you see our deluxe Thermador four burner electric stove, which is integrated into our stainless steel counters. The burner all the way to the left works most of the time, however the temperature control is weak. It's dialed from 1-7, but in reality, 1-6 are about a 1 and 7 is a 36. The burner on the right works a bit, but not if any of the other burners are on.

Look at this fancy, cruddy knob! It's for the ventilation fan over the stove, which works at about 30% capacity. There are two big, disgusting issues with this hood and fan. #1: Since the fan only works marginally, any time you boil something, the steam condenses on the inside of the hood and drips back down into the food you are cooking. When we first realized this, and we looked at the underside of the hood, we threw away the food we were making. Since it's been cleaned, it's not quite so terrible, but yes, it still is. #2: When the fan isn't on, cold air blows back down in from outside into our kitchen. But don't worry, just turn on the oven and it warms right up!

Ah, the ovens. Don't get too close to the when they are on, because there is almost no insulation on those doors! The thermostats in these babies are also, um, awful. We bought an oven thermometer for them and have been consistently amazed at the inconsistency of the temperatures. No matter what temp you set them for, they cycle between 200 and 650, with no real pattern. Which is why I didn't make any christmas cookies this year.

Our current cabinetry is wood veneer over metal. Durable, and likely pretty high quality when they were purchased.

Despite having a much smaller kitchen than before, we have a good amount of cabinet space. Probably on account of multiple lazy susans. 

And all of them filled with delicious rust on the inside!

One of the major flaws of our kitchen, aside from everything I've already mentioned, is it's awkward layout. Tables and counters jut out at random places...

I can maybe understand why someone would have wanted this little prep table, but not really. We're getting rid of that, and that whole wall will become pantry space. This should open up the area around the sink a little more and give us more food storage space.

This fridge is going to the basement and being replaced with a counter depth model. All of the cabinetry here will be gone, including the space where the ancient trash compactor used to be. The new fridge is taller and wider and will take up almost all of this space.

Our counter are composed of three different materials.

Some is ancient butcher block...

And some is stainless steel. We also have formica, which you can see in the photo with the microwave. Honestly, if we could find a way to refurbish the non-formica areas that wouldn't cost more than just replacing them, I would consider it. But since we are replacing the stove/ovens with a single unit, we have to reconfigure the counters anyway, so new stone it is!

So that's about it. The cabinets are here, and the demo starts on Januray 2. Wish us luck!

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Arizaphale said...

There's nothing I love more than a good makeover! After months of non-blogging, I'm back to do some back checking. Glad the move has gone well and looking forward to the finshed photos of the kitchen. Poor Mags. Understandable misunderstanding...

Kip Whitehead said...

The thought of changing the whole look of my kitchen really excites me. Every time I remodel something at home, I make sure to research kitchen layouts that I love. The thing I hate most is waiting, waiting for the remodel to be over. Good luck on your remodel and I'm looking forward to the finished kitchen remodel photos!